Thursday, October 1, 2015

Writing Workshop Session 10 (Personal Narrative)

Re-Angling and Rewriting to Convey What a Story Is Really About

Today's work  is about revising as re-envisioning & rewriting.  It is about searching for a deeper meaning in one's story.  It is about using details in purposeful ways: not just plunking them in because we all know writers use details, but instead, making conscious choices about what to include and not to include to convey an intended message to readers.  

**It is about doing ALL of these things simultaneously, spinning several plates at once without letting one for more drop to the ground.  


Revising means rewriting, re-envisioning, not merely crossing out a line here and inserting a phrase there.  


When writers can see a piece in a whole new way, they can write it in a whole new way!

Of course, this is very hard work!!
Once you have a picture in your head of how something goes, it can be difficult to see it any other way.  This is why writers often take a 1st draft and put it aside for a small stretch.  When writers put a draft aside, they often keep thinking band even talking about it, exploring new possibilities for how that piece could unfold.  And then, they start fresh. With blank paper and pen or pencil in hand, they write a new draft, incorporating all their new thinking and insights. 
That is true revision.
 What is my story really about? I want to remind you of an important strategy for tackling a 2nd draft of your personal narrative with  new insight.  many of you already know how to re-envision your story--especially the hear of your story--by thinking about what your story is really about. 
 You know that when you rewrite with that question in mind and then place your new draft alongside the old, you see 2 very different pieces.

Sooo let's ask ourselves: 
            What is this story really about?

*Tell students about bike story

Today I want to teach you that when you let yourself be guided by the question 'What is my story really about? you find yourself wanting to tell your story in a completely new way.  You can plan and rehearse your new draft in ways that will hint at the larger meaning, early on in the story, and develop that deeper meaning throughout the rest of the story.


Realizing what your story is really about will lead to ideas for a brand-new draft where you can tell the story differently.  
Demonstrate using an external-internal story mountain as a tool for planning a new, more meaningful version of your story.  

Above the line of the mountain = External Story (Physical Events)

Below the line of the mountain = Interanl Story (What is my story really about?)

Active Engagement:

Imagine how your new drafts might go.  Imagine multiple possibilities by asking the question, "What is my story really about?" 

Where might this new draft start?  Earlier? Later? Same place?
How will the events unfold? In sequential order? Out of order? With flashbacks? Flash-forwards?
Which parts will you choose to include this time?
Will you stretch out different moments than before?
Include new ones?
Eliminate parts that no longer seem as relevant?

**Remember to keep in mind what your story might really be about, and consider which external events can help show that meaning.

Now story-tell your revised pieces to a partner, making sure to weave together the internal  and external story.

If you have more than 1 timeline started, choose the one you will draft today, and think, 'why details will in clyde to get my meaning across to my readers?' Jot notes on your timeline as you get ideas.

Partner 1: use your timeline to help tell your story to partner 2 in a way that gets across your meaning.

Partner 2: listen for that meaning. Listen so closely that you can tell your partner what you think his or her story is about and why you think that---what details hinted at the mean of you.


     *storyteller's voice
     *pull your reader in
     *make them want to listen
    *emphasize important parts
     *you might slow down or speed up in certain places
     *be thoughtful about the detail you include
    *what might your characters think here, to POP out your meaning?


Tell me what your partners story is really about. Today you are going to put your first draft aside and write a new version, one that reads very differently than the 1st.  Perhaps you'l begin in a new place.  You might include whole new parts, just as you 'll leave out some of what made it into your 1st draft.  And certainly, you will include new details--descriptors, inner thinking, dialogue that will let your refers know what your story is really about.  

Homework: Rewrite your seed story with your mountain timeline, include the internal story...hinting at what the story is really about.


  1. You must find a good article submission company in order to do article submission to drive traffic to your site and to improve the number of back links. If you choose a good company that follow good procedures, you will be able to get good ranking from Google. You also need to play your part in this connection. See more paraphrase my sentence

  2. Do you have a blog for the other modes of writing?